In the first round of campaign finance reports for the race to fill three open seats on the Glendale City Council, an incumbent and two former candidates are the fundraising leaders among 10 hopefuls.
When considering only total monetary and nonmonetary contributions, second-time candidate Rick Dinger was the leader with a total of $35,908 received for the filing period covering Jan. 1 through Feb 28.
Another returning candidate, Vrej Agajanian was the second-highest fundraiser with $26,651.
According to financial forms released on Feb. 23, the majority of spending by candidates went to campaign literature and mailings, staff and consulting.
Dinger said he attributes his fundraising lead to the network of support from individuals and organizations he's built during the past 14 years since his first bid for a City Council seat.
"From Democrats and Republicans to teachers and business owners, I've built a broad base," Dinger said. "People know I work well with others, and when I get involved, I make things happen."
Agajanian is already planning his next major fundraising event and sending out the next wave of campaign mailers.
"It's not about me, it's about listening to Glendale," Agajanian said.
Coming in a close third was incumbent Zareh Sinanyan, with $25,560 in total contributions. During his first run in 2013, Sinanyan raised just over that amount during the same period with almost $32,000 in cash donations — ahead of then-incumbents Ara Najarian and Laura Friedman.
Najarian, who also has a seat on the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority board at stake, raised $12,220 — roughly $10,000 short of funds raised during the same period in 2013.
Business owner and retired U.S. Army Gen. Mark MacCarley reported $53,997 in his campaign disclosure filings, but $48,000 of that was from a self-made loan.
Grant Michals, information technology consultant and president of the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council, also lent $2,500 to himself, ending the filing period with $3,025 in total contributions.
Retired businessman Mike Mohill took a $6,000 loan from his wife, Lorraine, on top of $4,250 in contributions.
Susan Wolfson, an account clerk for the city of La Cañada Flintridge, reported a $1,748 loan with no contributions.
Onnik Mehrabian, a Glendale business owner, raised $300.
Professional photographer Mike Van Gorder filed a disclosure form stating that his campaign did not anticipate receiving or spending more than $2,000. Van Gorder said he expects to surpass $2,000 at some point during his campaign but added that his run is designed to show that money and government shouldn't be one and the same.
"It's really kind of gross that you need over $55,000 to have a successful municipal campaign," Van Gorder said. "These are two-month campaigns and some of these people are going to end up spending over $100,000."
Jeff Landa, firstname.lastname@example.org